John Arthur Beninghof passed away March 12, 2011 after being ill for a long time. Grandpa by marriage, after time, just Grandpa. Grandpa left such a legacy behind, 15 grandchildren. 8 of which belong to my husband's family. All these men are his grandsons. One is on duty in the US Navy right now, but the rest are represented as pallbearers.
Grandpa was a WWII veteran, a fact that he was proud of. He was not in the heat of the battle, but he served his country nonetheless. The most tender moment for me was when the American Legion Vets came in an saluted Grandpa in his casket. He was honored in death by fellow soldiers. Wow, I will never look at them the same.
Another tender moment for me was when those same vets handed Grandma the folded flag in behalf of the President of the United States. He was being honored over 60 years after he served his country.
We listened to the 21 gun salute and the playing of TAPS. I have heard TAPS on movies before, but never live at a funeral. The final ring of that music brought such a closure to Grandpa's life. He is home. He is no longer ill, he is at peace.
Then we moved on to the funeral dinner in which my sisters from church planned and took over for me. I always prefer to be on the serving side and not the receiving side, but each are important in their own right. I am always amazing by the love and generosity that is displayed through good works and food.
The food was amazing the family was so pleased by how much the sisters helped a person they never met. The sisters worked out of the love they have for our family and Kyle's mother. They mourned with us as we mourn and they do it by bring enough food to feed an army. How fitting that was after the service we experienced. It wasn't until the military and the good people of our church did their serving that our family was touched by the spirit.
Grandpa was a cantankerous old soul. He loved telling fictitious stories and hunting and fishing. He love tormenting his grand kids and great-grand kids. We always laughed because he whined "Doris" when ever he needed the slightous thing. But when it came down to it he was proud of his families' accomplishments. He was proud of all his grandchildren that served in the military; 5 of the 15. He got Dakota a special edition Boy Scout pocket knife when he made Eagle rank. Oh, how he will treasure that knife as he gets older.
It has been an emotional week; exhausting, but the truth of the matter is, Grandpa and Grandma are responsible for the love of my life. What a legacy he leaves behind. I am proud to be a part of that legacy. The love and energy of the family today was overwhelming.
Goodbye, Grandpa! God be with you 'til we meet again.